The self-employed life: chaotic, but worth it
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
There I was rushing into the house like a bull in a china shop with this frantic look on my face. My beautiful wife looked right at me and gave me a look of her own.
She asked me what was wrong and, without even looking up, I blurted something about how I had a full plate of work and most of it had just been added only a short while earlier. Basically, I wasn't sure if there were enough hours in the day to fit it all in!
Her response was classic. ... "OK, great! This is what you wanted, right?"
She was right. This was exactly what I wanted. I needed to stop the bellyaching!!!
Oftentimes, the self-employed life can get kind of hectic. Whether you are a one-person show or you have people working underneath you, the bottom line is it's still your baby. You have a vested interest in making this work, and how things go — positive, negative, or indifferent — is a direct reflection on how you operate as the owner of the company.
So whether you have 10 projects going on at the same time, or a client comes to you at the last minute needing help on something they say they should have asked you for yesterday, you put your Superman cape on and make it happen! Kryptonite be darned!
It's who you are. It's what you do. And it's so worth it.
For those of you who don’t know, I took a massive leap of faith in March 2014 when I quit my full-time job as a branch manager at a local bank to chase my dream of being a professional writer and small business owner. My decision to leave wasn’t anything against banking. During those 11 years, I worked myself up from a teller to personal banker and eventually to an assistant manager before nabbing the top spot in my own branch. I enjoyed every second, and loved the customers even more.
There was just one problem — I wasn’t doing what I originally set out to do in life. My college degree was in journalism, and while I had been writing for just more than 17 years at that point, most of that time was spent freelancing on the side. Over time, I realized I had more fun when I was leaving my higher-paying job to go cover a Friday night football game. I also enjoyed the opportunities to help edit my friends' term papers, or help craft blogs and newsletters here and there for business owners.
There were times when a sports story would break in the middle of the day and I'd spend my lunch hour at the bank compiling enough interviews to get a story out there. On other days, I'd be up at 4 a.m. to finish an assignment ... simply to fit it all in.
So I quit.
Anyone who knows me can attest that I don't jump unless there is a strong net beneath me. I prefer safe. In this instance, though, I knew the risk was worth taking.
Fast forward and here I am with a successful writing and editing business, Edit This, that continues to grow each year. I get to work with business owners — many of whom took the same leap of faith I did — every day on their blogs, newsletters, content for their website, et cetera. They treat me great, and in return, I provide them with a service that saves them time and money while also helping to make them look good. As their business grows, so does mine.
Couple that with the fact that I write full-time for the Denton Record-Chronicle covering sports, and I'm a busy guy. But who cares, right? I'm doing what I was meant to do!
So how do I fit it all in, plus being a husband and father? Honestly, I have no idea. Some days really are just like what I described above ... frantic and chaotic. But it's all part of being self-employed, and caring deeply about what I put my name on.
I love it. So when I look at my busy schedule and start thinking that it’s getting too hectic, I need to think back to the days right after I quit the bank — when all I could think about was how I was going to fill my schedule and make this business work.
I clearly don’t have that problem now, and I have each and every one of you to thank for it. It’s truly a blessing to do what I do — and so worth it.
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the Owner/President of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Along with being a sports writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.